Police in Georgia have detained five people in connection with the death of a Mayo man there.

The body of Tom Kennedy, 28, was recovered from a river near the eastern city of Gori last week.

Born in Manchester to Irish parents, who moved back to Co Mayo when he was two years of age, Mr Kennedy has been remembered as a "gentle soul, who wouldn't harm a fly".

His cousin, Olivia Barrett, said the family were heartbroken by his death and were devastated when they heard what had happened to him. He is survived by his parents and six brothers, including his twin, Pat.

Georgian police say five people were detained on foot of the discovery of Mr Kennedy's body last Friday. Four of them have been charged with "premeditated murder". A fifth man has been charged with failure to report a crime.

According to the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the men were socialising with Mr Kennedy last Thursday evening.

Police say a confrontation subsequently took place, during which the musician was assaulted and fell unconscious.

His assailants are alleged to have thrown him into a river in an effort to conceal their actions. He was identified when his student ID was found in his jeans pocket, after his body was washed ashore last Friday.

Ms Barrett said her cousin had travelled to Georgia following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and had initially intended to return home a fortnight ago.

She said efforts to repatriate his body had been somewhat complicated by the fact that he was born in the UK but had lived in Ireland for most of his life. Initially, Georgian authorities were in contact with the British Foreign Office but Ms Barrett said the Department of Foreign Affairs was now also involved in the process.

A GoFundMe webpage to help cover the costs of repatriating Mr Kennedy's remains has generated tens of thousands of euro since it was launched yesterday.

Ms Barrett said that while her cousin had died witnessing the worst of humanity, the family had seen the best of people in the heartfelt tributes paid to Tom Kennedy in recent days.

She said that words could not express the gratitude they felt for the support offered by people all over the world. She pledged that her cousin would get "the send off he deserves" in due course.

Latest indications are that it will take a number of days before Mr Kennedy's body is released by the Georgian authorities.